Meat is a rich source of protein. In many parts of the world, it is a staple food. Other than protein, meat also has other important nutrients. Meat is cooked in different ways, however, some methods can ruin the taste, quality, and nutrients of meat. As Eid-Ul-Adha 2021 is about to come, so people are searching for the healthiest ways to cook meat.
Here in this article, we will have a detailed look at different cooking methods to prevent the meat from losing its taste and quality.
How inappropriate cooking methods can ruin the quality of meat?
The main purpose of cooking the meat is to make it edible and chewable. When we cook the meat, its fibers and connective tissues break down. As a result, meat became tender, juicy, and chewable. Besides, cooking also makes it digestible and enhances nutrient absorption by the body.
Cooking meat kills harmful elements such as bacteria i.e. Salmonella. Killing these bacteria or other harmful elements is quite important to avoid food poisoning. Besides all these benefits, cooking meat can also result in losing the antioxidants.
Loss of nutrients, antioxidants, and other essential compounds are linked with cooking methods, temperature, and duration of cooking. To get better health benefits and minimize a loss of nutrients, it is quite important to cook the meat properly.
Read on to get an idea of how you can properly cook your meat.
Roasting and baking
Roasting and baking can be done by using the dry heat method. This method is different from the moist heat, where water is added to tenderize the meat. Roasting or baking can be done in an oven where meat gets tender by cooking into its own juices. You are free to cover or open the dishes while baking your meat. The recommended temperature range for roasting and baking is 150 to 200℃.
Depending upon the quantity and size of meat pieces, the duration of cooking may vary. Usually, meat is baked or roasted for 45 to 60 minutes. That is one of the healthiest methods to cook meat as it prevents the loss of Vitamin C. Use the juice or stock of meat while serving it to avoid the loss of Vitamin B.
The grilling method also uses dry heat where meat is placed over a grill. The temperature range is 190 to 230℃. Steaks, ribs, shoulders, and legs are usually grilled which adds extra flavor to the meat.
However, this method sometimes adds harmful chemicals to the meat. It is because of juice dripping on grilling surfaces. It creates Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons that penetrate the meat.
Broiling is just like grilling, but here the heat is applied from above. The temperature range is 260 to 290℃. Just like grilling, broiling also leads to the production of harmful chemicals.
These chemicals are linked with heart disease, kidney disorders, cancer, and skin problems. The formation of these chemicals can be reduced by cutting the cooking time and removing the meat before its juices become scorched.
Simmering is a method where moist heat is applied to tenderize the meat. This method usually takes more time and can also firm up the protein. This method has very little chance for the production of harmful chemicals such as PAHs.
However, this method may involve losing essential vitamins such as vitamin B. But the juice or stock can be consumed to avoid its loss.
Stir and deep-frying
During stir-frying, a shallow pan with a little oil is used where meat is continuously tossed. Here high heat is applied for a short duration. In this way, the nutrient loss can be minimized. The only drawback associated with stir-frying is that it promotes the production of cancer-causing elements like Heterocyclic Amines. This can be avoided by adding more veggies, spices, and herbs that are high in antioxidants or by using healthy oils like olive oil or coconut oil.
Deep frying involves the complete immersing of meat while cooking. It prevents the loss of nutrients, but the amount of fats absorbed by meat gets doubled. It increases the amount of calorie intake and chances of heart disease.
Pressure cooking is one of the oldest and convenient methods to cook meat. It applies moist heat for only a short duration to tenderize the meat. It retains the nutrient content of the meat however sometimes, overly tenderizes it.
The bottom line
All cooking methods have different benefits and drawbacks, but pressure cooking is one of the best, convenient, and healthiest methods to cook red meat. Choosing healthy cooking methods is quite important to maintain your health.
However, if you are fond of grilling, you can reduce its negative impacts by using different techniques. Use healthy fats, add more veggies, remove the dripping before it becomes charred, and avoid overcooking the red meat. These methods will reduce the risk associated with these cooking methods.